Monday, October 02, 2006

OCT 06 EXCERPT : You Belong To Me

You Belong To Me
By Patricia Sargeant

Chapter One
Malcolm Bryant felt the pulse jump in Nicole Collin’s delicate wrist as he leaned over her, his chest to her slender back. He could feel her warmth, breathe her soft fragrance — a mixture of her soap and Nicole that still stirred him, even in his dreams.
“We can stay out here if you want,” he murmured into the shell of Nicole’s ear. “But we’ll probably attract a lot of attention. Personally, I’d prefer to talk in your hotel room. Either way, we will talk.”
“Fine.” She pulled free of him and pushed open the door. “We’ll talk in the room.”
Nicole crossed the thick, turquoise carpet. She tossed her purse on the mahogany conversation table between two matching, overstuffed chairs, folded her arms across her chest and turned to face him.
She was backlit by the window, which offered a glimpse of the sun straining to penetrate the Los Angeles skyline. The cream-colored pants suit flowed over her, masking her figure. But he could tell from her face she was a lot more slender, almost fragile. Her thick, near-black hair was longer and gathered in a clip at the nape of her neck. Small stud earrings were her only accessory. The conservative, polished business woman before him was very different from the free spirit he had known four years ago.
The scene is set, Malcolm thought. He shoved his hands into his trouser pockets, biting back the urge to ask how she’d been the past four years.

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